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Blog: Lee Younger

I'm Hiding

CCC Oak Ridge

So, I get some form of this question a lot: “Why do I feel so far from God?” You ever asked that one? Here’s the deal: This question has to be translated before it can really be answered. What I mean is, 99 times out of 100, when a person asks that question, they’re really asking something else. What they’re really saying (without actually saying it) is, “I did this thing. I sinned. It was bad. Now I don’t want to go anywhere near God because I’m ashamed and I’m afraid, so I’m basically hiding from Him and avoiding Him. But that makes me feel all disconnected from God which makes the guilt even heavier... so, what do I do?”

Now, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes folks just go through spiritual dry-seasons and they have to walk with God by faith alone, trusting He’s there even though they can’t feel Him. But, 99 percent of the time, when someone says they can’t feel God, it’s because of that other thing - shame. First thing’s first: shame comes from the devil, not from God. Jesus actually bore all your guilt and shame on the cross. He paid for all of it, and because Jesus paid, He fully expects to get a relationship with you that is totally shame-free. Believe me, Jesus wants to get what He paid for. He doesn’t want you feeling shame. When you screw up, Satan tells you that you ought to feel ashamed. He tells you to run away and hide because you’re a disappointment to God and you need to  go to your room and think about what you did. Know this: that is not how God feels about you. When you screw up, God wants you to come deeper in, not further out.

Psalm 32 is a song David wrote when the dust settled after some heavy-duty sinning in his life. In other words, David didn’t tell a couple of lies or vandalize a park. No, this was a period of dark and base coercion, corruption, infidelity, violence, serial murder and misuse of power that lasted around a year. He explains in the song that when his shame caused him to run from God, he was a miserable wreck; but the instant he spilled his guts to God, his heart was light, happy and filled with the relief of forgiveness and communion with God. Then he says this in verse 7: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

My two year old son Jack loves to play this game where he runs into his bedroom, goes to the same little place between his bed and dresser and then shouts at the top of his lungs, “I’m hiding Daddy! Come find me!” I then stomp through the house toward his bedroom as he laughs. I ‘find’ him, pick him up and we both laugh uncontrollably until he tells me to put him down so he can go right back to the same place again and start the game over. He loves to hide where he knows I’ll find him. He loves to tell me where he is and he loves it when I come find him.  Look, there’s nothing wrong with hiding, but don’t run from God. Hide in Him instead. A hiding place is a place of safety. What I’m saying is, you are going to screw up all the time. God knows this more than you do. When you do, just go straight to God with it. Be completely honest about it. Don’t hide it from God, hide it in Him. He wants you to talk to Him about it. He wants you to be open. If your relationship with God looks like you really being you and taking everything to Him all the time, you won’t be asking me that first question, “Why do I feel so far from God?”